Focusing on Varanasi, the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage city on the bank of the Ganges, this lecture module demonstrates how a particular land-water confluence creates a sacrosanct urban center. Varanasi’s urban experience is marked by an elaborate system of ghats (steps leading to the river) that serve as “temples” dedicated to the sacred water of the Ganges. Hindus come to Varanasi to worship the Ganges water, perform funeral rites, and attain moksha or nirvana. The flowing waters of the Ganges offer to them the ultimate redemption.
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